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Johne

[TBG] Four Days, Six Scenes

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I'm staring down the barrel at a four day holiday weekend and I've got six new scenes to write in order to finish a solid draft which I've promised to my Beta readers for THE BLUE GOLEM. I know what the scenes are but most of them need to move from positive to negative, and that isn't always my strong suit:

  • Crowdpleaser - Clay's first day as a rickshaw driver is disastrous and the people fear and hate him.
  • Swept Off My Feet - after a late night meeting with the cleric, Clay is ambushed immediately outside of the cleric's cottage. Earlier attacks were physical in nature - this one is magical and suspends him in mid-air.
  • The WindTree People - Clay tracks down the indigenous assassins who tried to tag him earlier in the novel and makes them an offer, etc.
  • Master, Maker, Magician, Thief - after Clay gets REALLY messed up fighting something he shouldn't have messed with, he's attended to by the King's best people. While there, the King stops down himself and makes a grave confession.
  • Never Cry Wolves - two massive beasts stalk the bar in Desenland where Clay has holed up. The locals are terrified but Clay knows they're hunting him. He reassures them and goes out to face them alone.
  • Dungeon Master - after besting the Dirus Canidae, Clay finds himself surrounded by Desen soldiers with cannons and is taken to the dungeon where he is chained next to a disreputable local.
  •  <I've got absolutely nothin' for this scene but I need it. So...>
     

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(Placeholder image - the eventual image should end up much, much cooler.)

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8 hours ago, EBraten said:

Oooh, you have a fun weekend ahead! I love the sound of those scenes.


I don't know of anyone else who names their scenes but it helps me keep track of what happens where. (Plus, I like naming things.)

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Quote

The rickshaw’s spokes splintered and its traces were yanked out of my sturdy grip. The rickshaw catapulted over my head and crashed to the road in front of me. The right wheel fell off and the rickshaw skittered to the left like a dying animal. To add insult to injury, I tripped and stumbled right into the wreck of my rickshaw, splintering the remains like a rotten melon. I lay in the remains of my means of subsistence as Djan and his team thundered past.

I rolled over onto my back and stared up at the grey, unforgiving sky.

“Well,” I said to no one in particular, and then I was at a loss for words.

Some time later, I sat up and saw the two men who’d thrown the poles into the spokes walk past on their way to the finish line. They carefully stepped over the wreckage and wordlessly doffed their hats as they passed by. 

Well, at least they were polite as they ripped my livelihood from me.

 

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3 minutes ago, Johne said:


I don't know of anyone else who names their scenes

I name my scenes! I'd never be able to keep track of them otherwise in Scrivener. But my scene names aren't as interesting as yours; they're just a very short one-sentence summary of what happens.

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2 minutes ago, EBraten said:

But my scene names aren't as interesting as yours; they're just a very short one-sentence summary of what happens.


I have a flair for the dramatic. ;)

I have a chapter called Two Races where Clay, dragging his rickshaw, first races a one horse carriage, and then in the rematch, races a two horse carriage. I refer to the scenes as One Horsepower and Two Horsepower respectively. :)

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11 hours ago, Johne said:

Well, at least they were polite as they ripped my livelihood from me.

One down and five to go???

 

11 hours ago, Johne said:

I refer to the scenes as One Horsepower and Two Horsepower respectively

You are good! Will these names be in the book?

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8 minutes ago, carolinamtne said:

You are good! Will these names be in the book?


You know when they say 'Kill your darlings?' As much as I'd love to share these, deep down I know these are my darlings and I have to let them go (or, rather, keep them private). 

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2 hours ago, Johne said:

As much as I'd love to share these, deep down I know these are my darlings and I have to let them go (or, rather, keep them private).

Well, at least you shared them with us. And there could still be a way to use them. When the book's published, you could share them on your website or somewhere else with fans. Sort of like the bonus material you get when you buy a DVD of a movie you really like.

 

Brandon Sanderson does something similar on his website. Not funny scene titles, but scenes and plotlines that he had to cut out of his books. I don't know if he does it for all his books, but I thoroughly enjoyed digging into the extra material he posted for Elantris.

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I wrote a scene for my WIP just because I wanted to call a scene "I Am Nailed to the Hull." The title comes from a Saturday Night Live sketch with Marty Palin. It's kind of a Jonah-in-the-belly-of-the-great-fish scene.

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18 hours ago, EBraten said:

Well, at least you shared them with us. And there could still be a way to use them. When the book's published, you could share them on your website or somewhere else with fans. Sort of like the bonus material you get when you buy a DVD of a movie you really like.


This is a great idea - keep these for my 1000 long-tail fans. I like it!

 

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I wanted to write six scenes to finish the WIP this weekend but life intervened. I did the first big scene done. Crowdpleaser clocks in at 1840 words and seems to work pretty well. Here's a taste:

Quote

 

The street was full of angry patrons on the verge of a riot when my buddy with his back to the wall stood and walked to the railing that served as the edge of the cafe’s outside courtyard. He put two fingers in his mouth, whistled once, a piercing sound, and the mob turned to look at where the noise came from.
 

Recognition filtered through the mob from front to back, and then, like a magic trick, the crowd stilled and a great silence fell over the street. When he spoke, he didn’t shout, but projected enough that his voice penetrated to the back of the crowd. “Hollister Klenn thanks you for your passion,” he said. “Hollister Klenn says you can go now.”
 

He looked from left to right. “NOW,” he reiterated, and one old man in back who knew which direction the wind flowed excused himself and vanished back around the corner.
 

And then my new best friend returned to his table and sat down as if every eye in the area wasn’t watching him. He caught the eye of the server who had started all this and held up two fingers. “A coffee for me and the golem,” he said in a normal speaking voice which carried in the silence all the way to Hell and back.
 

And just like that I was a made golem, although I didn’t know it at the time.

 

 

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19 minutes ago, Johne said:

if every eye in the area wasn’t watching him. He caught the eye of the server who had started all

Nice! But one small thing: since everyone was watching him, would he have needed to catch the server's eye?

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This is such a cool concept and a cool book.  I continue to follow its development with eager anticipation for its launch!  

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I finished the second scene, "Swept Off My Feet." I had to figure out how Clay was magically suspended in mid-air and how to counteract that, and wound up with a new group, the Sisters of Saint Mallory, aka The Distaff Patrol, a group of female assassins who disguise themselves as sisters of mercy but work a kind of green mana called Earth magic. This scene came in at 1394 words and I like the way it turned out.

I didn't get six scenes written over the long weekend but I did get in a solid two while doing normal long weekend family stuff. I'll consider that a minor victory. I'm still on track to get a solid Draft out to my Beta readers before I go away for a couple of writing-related retreats in September.
 

Quote

 

I dropped lightly to my big clay feet and regarded the pile of enraged women on the ground in front of me. As Tinny was on top, she scrambled to her feet and yanked at her now loose lasso. I held my hand up in the universal gesture to wait and wriggled my forearm enough to let the whip loosen and drop away free. The green Earth magic had left her eyes, which were still green. I noted that and filed it away—it might mean something, it might mean nothing. She yanked the whip back with a sharp crack and nervously considered doing something stupid. I waved at her again to suggest caution. I walked over to Cera and picked up her whip. I casually wrapped it up in a loop and, after consideration, held out my hand.
 

Cera looked from my outstretched left hand to her whip safely out of reach in my right.
 

“I don’t need you to pretend to be my friend,” I said, “but I’d really like it if you weren’t my enemy. Are you my enemy?”
 

She sized up the situation and then made what we in the industry call ‘a business decision'. She rolled effortlessly to her feet and faced me. “I’m not your enemy,” she said coolly.
 

It was a small victory but it was all I was going to get tonight. I nodded and extended the whip. She accepted it cautiously, re-attached it somehow under her cloak, and drew the cloak closed. I could see she was thinking as she did these mechanical things. She made to turn away and then faced me again. “We were sent to ask a question and deliver a message. I consider our contract satisfied.”
 

“I am not your enemy either,” I said.
 

Cera nodded ever so slightly.
 

Tinny wrapped up her whip and made it disappear beneath her cloak, and then the two of them collected their sandals and disappeared into the night.
 

I was under no illusions—I was now hated by an entirely new group of magical opponents.

Everybody’s got to have a hobby, I guess.
 

As I began trotting home a thought occurred—I was racking up enemies faster than fares, not a great business model.

 

 

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